September 10, 2013

Today you should read: Jeremiah 49

Still Held Responsible…

If we are born sinful, why are we punished for our sin?

This is a good question, and one that many have asked.  It’s a real question.  If we are born with a sinful nature, why do we deserve hell for sinning?  Does that seem unfair?

I think this chapter speaks to this question.  Although it doesn’t answer the question directly…I think it shows us the answer through its implications.

Here, we see that the nations that raided Israel are going to be punished.  It seems crazy because throughout this whole book we’ve seen God’s plan to punish the Israelites through these other nations.  God used these other nations, allowing them to plunder the Israelites.  It was God’s plan.  But now… we see that these nations are going to be held responsible for beating up God’s people.  They are going to be punished for raiding Israel.  They are going to be disciplined for pursuing their sin.

Crazy, huh?

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

Although these nations were used of God (without knowing it) to discipline the Israelites, they are still held responsible for their actions.  They still chose to pursue their own way, defeat Yahweh’s people, treat Israel unfairly, and live for their own glory.  But, God is not just the God of Israel; He is in charge of every nation under heaven.  That being so, every nation is held responsible for breaking God’s standard.   These nations, although used in God’s plan, will be punished for their choice to sin.

So, as we relate to this and try to apply this story to our own lives, I think we can learn that we are still responsible for our own actions and our choice to sin.  Though we are born with a nature that is enslaved to sin, we still choose to sin every day.  We are sinners by nature and by choice.  And although everything ultimately works for God’s overall plan, and though He uses our worst of circumstances for His overall plans, we are still responsible for the sin we commit and therefore the punishment is completely just.

With this in view…oh how marvelous the everlasting grace of God is, in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Though we were slaves to sin, sinners by choice, and hell bound, God sent His only Son to give us freedom and life.

Now that is grace!!  Grace is our only hope.  Grace is our greatest hope.   No matter if you’ve been a Christian for 50 years or for 50 minutes, you are 100% dependent on the grace of God.  You couldn’t earn one step of the way towards reconciliation with God.  Not one step.  It’s entirely grace.  If we are tempted to think we can earn God’s favor or blessing or  that we have earned God’s favor or blessings, we need to think again.

Because we are completely held responsible for our sin, grace is our only hope.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

September 9, 2013

Today you should read: Jeremiah 48

OK, here’s a brief summary of this long chapter of Jeremiah:

“I will make an end of Moab, declares the Lord.”—Jeremiah 48:35a

Here is a brief background of this chapter.  During the height of Israel, Moab was conquered by Israel and ruled it. The Moabites later rebelled against Israel’s rule over them and gained independence. In later years, approaching the time of Jeremiah, Israel and Moab fought several times, and Moab joined with Babylon against Judah. Now Jeremiah speaks this prophecy against Moab.

Various verses in this chapter give us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the Moabites.  Let’s check them out and let’s see what insights we can gather from them and what application we can make for our own lives.

“For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures, even you yourself will be captured;”—Jeremiah 48:7a 

“Make him drunk, for he has become arrogant toward the LORD;”—Jeremiah 48:26a

“We have heard of the pride of Moab– he is very proud– Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.”—Jeremiah 48:29

“I will make an end of Moab,” declares the LORD, “the one who offers sacrifice on the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.”—Jeremiah 48:35

It’s easy to see that the Moabites put their trust in their own abilities and treasures.  They had become arrogant towards the Lord.  Pride and haughtiness characterized them.  They were idolaters.  What was the result of all of their sin?  Destruction.

So, what instruction and application can we make for our lives from this chapter as we learn from the example of the Moabites?

 1.     Do not trust in your own achievements or treasures.  Instead, trust in the One who allows us to achieve and gives us treasures.

 2.     Do not become arrogant towards the Lord.  Instead, humbly submit to Him as Lord of your life, recognizing that He is all-powerful and deserves to have control of every aspect of your being.

 3.     Do not be prideful and haughty or exalt yourself.  Instead, recognize and admit your lack of ability to do or accomplish anything unless the Lord allows it to happen.

4.     Do not give yourself to idols.  Instead, acknowledge Christ as the only God.  Be unwilling to submit yourself to another “god.”  Confess as sin any other gods that you have in your life.

The consequences of sin are always death and destruction.  Let’s learn from the examples in the Scriptures, and particularly from the example of the Moabites in Jeremiah 48.  Let these examples point you towards Christ.  Without Christ, we’d all be doomed to an eternity separated from God.  Our end would be destruction.

Posted by: Richard Duffield

September 7, 2013

Today you should read: Jeremiah 47

Today’s passage is short and not so full of hope and happiness. I would hate to have been a Philistine during that time. God tells Jeremiah to proclaim what is about to happen to the Philistines, and he does. God’s plan seems to be to completely wipe out the Philistines here. The last two verses are what really stuck out to me. Here we can glean a principle to hang onto for today. That principle is:

When God commands something it will happen and it will be completed.

 

Now, in this particular passage the news is grim but the adverse outcome is also true. So, when we read passages like Philippians 1:6 they remind us that we can be confident that God finishes what He starts. So, today’s principle, though it is couched in a story of judgment, is also true for believers and we can find hope and confidence in that.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

September 6, 2013

Today you should read: Jeremiah 46

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this passage…

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How can we pray for you today?

– What needs have arisen in your life?
– What troubles are you facing?
– What family situations are plaguing your mind?
– Are you dealing with any physical ailments?
– How is your walk with Christ?
– Has Satan been barraging your achilles heel?
– Whom are you discipling that you want to see bear much fruit?
– What friend/family member is on your heart for salvation/repentance?

If you are willing, post a prayer request or two in the comments section below, and we’ll join together as CPC Jumpstarters to lift you up. Jumpstarters: will you check back periodically through the day to lift up your CPC family? I will.

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As you read today’s passage (Jeremiah 46), you can’t help but rack your mind as to what to do with Egypt! Still an issue to this very day, isn’t it? Egypt seems to have a pretty prominent place in the Bible and God’s plan. Joseph, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah — even Jesus Christ — all speak to it or were there for some period of time. At this point in Jeremiah, Israel was in some form of alliance with Egypt. So why all the judgment?

Idolatry and false gods.  Verses 13-26 deal with this, but not this alone. This passage also shows God’s disgust for pride. The Egyptian kings ruled with terrible pride. Egypt is also likened to a serpent in verse 22. That’s not exactly the best title to receive from God, since the Serpent — Satan — is going to experience the full weight of God’s fierce power in the days to come.

God will judge all the nations. This passage means exactly what it says. The good news for the nations is that Christ died for all of them. Destruction will come to those who choose their idols/kings over the King of Kings.

This passage also brings up “the day of the Lord” in verse 10. We’ve spoken of this in the past, so we’ll direct you to one of those posts.

Check out this Jumpstart post from a while back that deals with “the day of the Lord”.

Hope you have a blessed day. Looking forward to praying for you and with you.

Posted by: Todd Thomas